Change in Washington: AI Debate and Regulation

Published on 18th October 2023

This insights post contribution was made by Emily Field, Account Director of RH Strategic.

With the 2024 elections approaching and turbulent times on Capitol Hill, D.C. is in a unique state of flux. Major issues like the regulation of generative AI continue to grip the Beltway. With ongoing change in Washington, organizations seeking to make impact are preparing for multiple scenarios with various outcomes.

The race for the White House is in full swing, President Biden is running without much opposition and former President Trump polls far ahead of Republican opponents. In Congress, Democrats are working to hold the Senate, while Republicans are trying to keep the House. However, there is a rare opportunity for bipartisanship during the 118th Congress, when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In the absence of guidance and legislation, organizations are blindly navigating the AI landscape. Rife with ethical and labor concerns, AI will affect everyone, from copyright holders to coders to writers. Washington is being called upon to maximize AI’s impact while also preventing it from wreaking havoc across industries. Congressional hearings on AI have increased, with calls for immediate regulation and the imperative to develop an AI ready workforce.

With widespread proliferation already transforming industry, government and the global economy, AI will stay center stage, regardless of election outcomes. The Biden administration and policymakers will continue prioritizing AI to keep the country globally competitive.

What does this mean for organizations with a vested interest in advancing U.S. competitiveness and industries that will be transformed by AI?

It’s more important than ever to find appropriate channels to share your perspective and expertise. Between calls for recommendations from federal agencies on guardrails to the development of AI technology, policymakers are seeking expert feedback to inform the debate. This is a timely opportunity to influence the future. Organizations should monitor proposed AI legislation and the expected Executive Order and be prepared to issue letters and public statements illustrating their perspective.

What is missing from the current debate? What considerations should be incorporated?

As subject matter experts, your clients have a voice and perspective to educate policymakers. Tactics like social content that engages policymakers, policy messaging and op-eds give organizations a unique opportunity to shape this important narrative.

RH Strategic is a D.C. and Seattle-based agency providing strategic public relations and public affairs for innovators in the government, technology, healthcare, and social and environmental impact markets.

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